Wes Unseld, NBA Rookie of Year and MVP in 1969, dies at 74
WASHINGTON (AP) — By current NBA standards, Hall of Famer Wes Unseld was not a “big.” But the 6-7 Unseld is being remembered for his dominance as a center for the Washington Bullets and for his contributions to the community.
Unseld led his squad to NBA championship in 1978 and earned MVP honors. Unseld is one of two players in NBA history to win Rookie of the Year and MVP awards in the same season. He was a five-time All-Star who played all 13 of his NBA seasons with the franchise that drafted him in 1968 out of the University of Louisville.
He and his wife Connie opened a school in Baltimore, where the Bullets, now the Wizards, originated. His family says he died Tuesday after “lengthy health battles, most recently with pneumonia.” Wes Unseld was 74.
HALL OF FAME-BRYANT INDUCTION
Hoops Hall mulls date for Bryant, Class of 2020 induction
The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame is considering new dates for the induction of its star-studded Class of 2020. Hall president John Doleva says dates to replace the postponed August ceremony include mid-October and next spring. With Kobe Bryant due to be enshrined posthumously, it's certain to be a big event. Kevin Garnett and Tim Duncan also are members of the induction class. So is college coach Eddie Sutton, who died last month. The Hall in Springfield, Massachusetts, is also getting ready to unveil its completely renovated museum.
Former tennis star says he’s saddened by police tactics
UNDATED (AP) — In the wake of George Floyd's death in Minneapolis, former tennis star James Blake says it's sad to see the type of policing that is still going on in America.
Blake, who is black, was mistakenly identified as a suspect in a credit card fraud scheme in 2015, when an undercover New York City officer threw him to the sidewalk and handcuffed him. The experience intensified Blake’s reaction to video of Floyd’s death shortly after being detained by Minneapolis police last week.
Blake said the scars from his own experience probably can’t be erased.
Broncos stop football to talk about race relations, Floyd
UNDATED (AP) — Instead of X's and O's, the Denver Broncos spent Tuesday talking about racial injustice, police brutality and healing a nation rocked by demonstrations over George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis on top of the coronavirus outbreak and its economic devastation.
Team president Joe Ellis addressed the offense and defense in separate Zoom calls that replaced the team’s regular video conference sessions, which are a substitute for in-person training during the pandemic.
Coach Vic Fangio and general manager John Elway also participated in the calls in which Ellis emphasized society’s need to eradicate racism and told the players that the organization shares in the outrage over Floyd’s death at the hands of police.
After the Zoom calls, the Broncos tweeted, “We will stand by our players. We will lift up their voices. We can do more. We will do more.”
Premier League players can show support for protesters
UNDATED (AP) — English Premier League players are able to show solidarity with the George Floyd justice campaign during games without facing sanctions.
The Football Association has endorsed FIFA’s new stance that common sense would be applied when assessing the context of on-field messages on players’ equipment.
The laws of the game prohibit “any political, religious or personal slogans, statements or images.” But the English FA has given the green light for players using games to protest against social and racial inequality.
The Premier League is due to resume on June 17.
Clemson assistant Pearman apologizes for using racial slur
CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) — Clemson assistant coach Danny Pearman said he made a “grave mistake” when he repeated a racial slur to ex-Tigers tight end D.J. Greenlee at practice three years ago.
The incident came to light Tuesday when former player Kanyon Tuttle posted about it on social media. Tuttle was responding to the school's post of Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney's comments Monday about the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis last week.
Tuttle's post said, “You allowed a coach to call a player the N-word during practice with no repercussions. Not even a team apology.” Pearman is white, and Greenlee is black.
Pearman said while he did not direct the slur at Greenlee, it was wrong for him to repeat it.
Greenlee told The State of Columbia, South Carolina, that he and a teammate were having an argument and used the slur during the exchange. He said Pearman heard him used it back in an attempt to correct him.
Pearman said Greenlee “appropriately” brought the matter to Swinney. Swinney and Pearman had a meeting, and the head coach told the assistant his language was "unacceptable."
COLLEGE FOOTBALL-NOTRE DAME-NAVY MOVED
College football opener won’t be played in Ireland
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — The college football season opener between Notre Dame and Navy has been moved out of Ireland because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Fighting Irish and Midshipmen were scheduled to meet in Dublin on Aug. 29, but instead will seek to play at the Naval Academy during the Labor Day weekend.
The decision to move the venue came after discussions between the Irish government, medical authorities and the leadership teams at Navy and Notre Dame.
Navy athletic director Chet Gladchuk says decision to forego the overseas trip is to ensure the health and safety of the players, coaches and fans.
RUTGERS-SOFTBALL ABUSE REPORT
Report: Rutgers softball needs change, but not discipline
NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. (AP) — A law firm released a report Tuesday on allegations of physical and emotional abuse in Rutgers University's softball program that described inappropriate behavior by coaches and a lack of communication on the part of administrators but stopped short of recommending discipline.
The release of the report, which had been requested by Rutgers after an investigation by NJ Advance Media, ended a seven-month probe by the Lowenstein Sandler law firm of allegations by players that coach Kristen Butler and volunteer assistant coach Marcus Smith, her husband, fostered a climate of fear, intimidation and abuse after they took over in the 2019 season. The report said 10 of 22 players left the program after the 2019 season.
BOWLING GREEN-BASEBALL SAVED
Safe: Bowling Green baseball saved by donors after being cut
CLEVELAND (AP) — Thrown out, Bowling Green baseball is now safe.
The school said Tuesday it is immediately reinstating its baseball program, which had been dropped last month due to financial hardships caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Bowling Green was facing a $2 million athletic budget shortfall due to the coronavirus outbreak, and baseball was cut in hopes of saving other sports from a similar fate.
However, soon after the school's announcement, a fundraising effort led by former BGSU players and donors brought in enough money to save a program that produced former Dodgers and Indians All-Star pitcher Orel Hershiser.
Bowling Green has said previously it costs $750,000 per year to run the baseball program.
Former exec pleads guilty to bribing son's way into college
BOSTON (AP) — A former technology executive pleaded guilty Tuesday to paying $300,000 to bribe his son's way into Georgetown University as a tennis recruit — even though the son didn't play tennis.
The U.S. Attorney's office in Boston said Peter Dameris, a resident of Pacific Palisades, California, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud.
Under the terms of Dameris' plea agreement, federal prosecutors will recommend a sentence of time served plus 21 months of home confinement, a fine of $95,000 and restitution. Sentencing has been set for Oct. 5.
NFL tells teams they must hold training camps at home
UNDATED (AP) — All 32 NFL teams have been told by Commissioner Roger Goodell to hold training camps at their home facilities this summer because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Most NFL teams stay at their training complexes year-round, but Dallas, Pittsburgh, Kansas City and Buffalo are among those that stage training camp elsewhere.
The Cowboys and Steelers are scheduled for the Hall of Fame game in Canton, Ohio, on Aug. 6 and will be the first two teams to report in late July. Dallas usually trains in Oxnard, California, and Pittsburgh in nearby Latrobe, Pennsylvania.
Soon, the NFL is hopeful of having club complexes fully open, but under strict medical guidelines including social distancing protocols.
In other virus-related sports developments:
— Japan's most famous baseball team has called off a preseason game amid reports that at least one Yomiuri Giants player may have tested positive for the new coronavirus. Japan hopes to open its delayed baseball season on June 19. But this news puts the 12-team league in jeopardy of being able to start.
— Two people familiar with the situation say the WNBA has decided to hold its games at just one location if there is a season this year and that the MGM Resorts in Las Vegas and the IMG Academy in Florida are the top candidates. There is still no date when the WNBA's 2020 season will tip off. The people spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the possible locations haven’t been publicly announced. WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert told the AP last month that the league was considering a handful of scenarios, including playing at one or two sites.
— Formula One CEO Chase Carey says races won’t be canceled if a driver tests positive for the coronavirus or if a team withdraws. F1 wants to avoid a repeat of the season opener in Australia in March. That event was canceled when McLaren withdrew after a staff member tested positive for the virus. The season is now set to start with two races in Austria on July 5 and 12. F1 teams have a tough time returning to competition because of the regular international travel involved.
— South Carolina men’s basketball coach Frank Martin says he has recovered from a case of COVID-19. Martin said he tested positive last month. He detailed his experience with the virus for the first time Tuesday.
— North Carolina State athletic director Boo Corrigan says the school has begun a schedule allowing student-athletes to return in phases to campus, with the first wave of football players permitted to return to student housing by June 20.
— Pac-12 schools have agreed to perform COVID-19 and coronavirus antibody tests on all athletes upon their return to campuses for voluntary workouts. Commissioner Larry Scott says athletes will continue to be tested regularly for COVID-19 as long as they are under the supervision of the schools. The Pac-12 schools are scheduled to begin allowing athletes back into their facilities for voluntary workouts starting June 15.
Seahawks sign fourth-round pick TE Colby Parkinson
RENTON, Wash. (AP) — The Seattle Seahawks have signed tight end Colby Parkinson, the first of the team's 2020 draft picks to sign.
Parkinson's signing was listed on the official NFL transactions on Tuesday. Seattle made eight picks in the April draft. Parkinson was taken with the first of Seattle's two fourth-round selections.
At 6-foot-7, Parkinson is another tall target for quarterback Russell Wilson, especially in red-zone situations. Parkinson had 48 receptions and just one drop in his final season at Stanford. He had just one touchdown last season but had seven TD catches in 2018.